For the last several years, transportation problems have plagued the chemical manufacturing industry. Unfortunately, many of these problems arose due to the COVID-19 pandemic. While logistics had been a problem before the pandemic, things intensified when the world’s transportation networks started to break down. Learn more about the supply chain problems facing chemical manufacturers.
The Problems Facing the Industry
The main supply chain problems facing the chemical manufacturing industry are related to transportation. Tens of thousands of truck drivers in the United States alone quit their jobs during the pandemic, and even more left the railroad industry. All over the country, railroad companies have shut down trains, consolidated routes, and raised rates to try covering their own financial needs. Meanwhile, trucking companies struggle to hire enough employees to drive their fleets.
How Supply Chain Problems Affect Chemical Manufacturers
The problems affecting railways and trucking have had a huge impact on chemical manufacturers. In April of 2023, the American Chemistry Council reported that over 90 percent of companies say the transportation problems have disrupted business. For example, shipments routinely arrive late, causing production delays that can affect multiple stages of a single project. And some clients aren’t even bothering to wait—they’re canceling orders they fear won’t arrive on time, further impacting the bottom line for manufacturers.
Fixes for the Supply Chain Problem
Many chemical manufacturers rely on railways for shipping large chemical tanks across the country. This means that events like rail strikes can have a much bigger impact on the industry than a loss of truck drivers. For chemical manufacturers, the most important thing the government can do is avoid rail strikes and pass a law allowing reciprocal switching. Such laws will increase competition and enforce penalties for companies that fail to maintain their tracks.
Temporary Solutions To Try
While waiting on the government to fix the supply chain problems facing chemical manufacturers, there are a few things you can do to mitigate the problem. First, shift your operations so that projects are staggered. When one project moves to a transportation stage, you can begin working on another project.
You can also partner with more experienced toll manufacturing partners, like Capital Resin. We understand how difficult things are right now and we have industry knowledge that can help you keep your projects on schedule.